(CBS Local Sports)– United States swimmers Ryan Murphy and Abbey Weitzeil are two of the best swimmers in the world and they each got the opportunity to compete on the world’s biggest stage for the second time at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Murphy returned home with a gold medal from the men’s 4×100 medley relay, a silver medal from the men’s 200 meter backstroke and a bronze medal from the men’s 100 meter backstroke. Meanwhile, Weitzeil added to her impressive Olympic resume by winning a silver medal in the 4×100 women’s medley relay and a bronze medal in the women’s 4×100 freestyle relay.
CBS Local’s DJ Sixsmith recently caught up with the two Olympians to discuss what it was like to compete in Tokyo, their favorite memories from these Olympic games and the work they are doing with Speedo to change the perception around swimwear.READ MORE: Sarasota County Sheriff's Office Received Funding For A High Visibility Enforcement Initiative
“The last couple weeks have flown by and it feels like a dream. I don’t even feel like I was in Japan less than 24 hours ago” said Weitzeil. “The games were awesome and it was an awesome experience. Japan did an amazing job hosting it and it was an unforgettable experience. It was so fun and as always it was an honor to wear a flag on your cap. The team was definitely different than what we were used to because we were super young as a whole, but everyone got super close.”
“It’s always an honor to represent Team USA and I loved hanging out with the team,” said Murphy. “As a result of being limited in our movements, we really did get really tight as a group. One of the things that was unique about the games was no fans in the stands. Our team was bringing the energy. We definitely made our presence known. When people were done swimming, they were up in the stands losing their voices every single day. They were in a better seating section than we’ve ever had as athletes.”READ MORE: Polk County School Cafeteria Worker Arrested for Murdering Boyfriend
The experience was unforgettable for Murphy and Weitzeil for different reasons. For the 24-year-old Weitzeil, she got the opportunity to anchor a relay for the United States for the first time when the women picked up the silver in the 4×100 medley relay. As for Murphy, the highlight for him was the plane ride back home when he got to celebrate with his teammates in a major way.
“It was a lot of pressure and it was the end to a five year build up,” said Weitzeil. “Everyone saw my emotion at the end of that race and it was not only the emotion from the race, but the relief of the stress and the sadness of it being over and the happiness of it being over. Everything just sort of came to me at once and overwhelmed me. They called me mom Abbey in that race because there were three teenagers and me. We were laughing about all my little ducklings in that race.”MORE NEWS: Man Taken Into Custody After Barricading Himself Inside His Home
“I’m honestly looking forward to some quiet alone time,” said Murphy. “We were around each other all the time. It was an incredible experience and the team got super close. The racing was incredible and those are things I’ll never forget and honestly the plane ride back was great. When the racing is done, you can finally completely relax and you get to see everyone’s legitimate personality.”